Aaaaaaand….the fabric has to dry, too!

Working with the string pieces is a lot of fun, but the water soluble stabilizer adds one more dimension of waiting to the process. It actually needs to be washed out, so of course the fabric needs to dry. I could throw the pieces in the dryer, but on a larger piece where the stitching is not extremely close, you risk losing chunks. Oh, what the heck? It’s scraps and I have plenty more to replace any that get lost in the dryer!

In two widths, no less!

So…lay out the strips, cover with stabilizer, pin, stitch…

After rinsing and before anything else is done–actually, this is while it is still wet–and now is the time I check for any big loose chunks that will fall down by shaking it around and seeing what happens.

I can see that my ‘sky’ is not level and I found a few loose parts, so more scraps and more stitching will be happening. That’s as far as I got today….oh, I did get this pinned up on the design wall.

It’s waiting for the design part of my brain to tell me what the next step is. More embellishment? Beads? Hand stitching? How am I going to attach the flowers to the background? I have decided that those little strips with the dark paint are not needed, so that’s at least one decision made!

And I’ve been asked, “Why don’t you use tulle over the top and then you don’t have to wash away the stabilizer?” Mainly, I don’t like the look of the tulle over the top! But the stabilizer really does stabilize. It’s much thicker and gives a good base for the stitches to grab onto. If I’m going to use tulle, it’s going to be for adding color and texture, not as a stabilizer.

While the fabric is drying, I’ll try to figure out what silhouette I’m going to stitch on top of that background. I want something a bit more robust than the last one I did. And this one is also taller…so much variation possible from the same pile of scraps. Love this!

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Watching paint dry…

Remember how much fun that is? NOT! Right now I am waiting for paint to dry AND waiting for rinsed out flowers to dry. Booooooooring…

Here are all 5 of my flat flowers–some are still wet.

I think they will have enough texture and dimension, but it will be relatively easy to add to them if necessary. It’s helpful for me to have this time to wait for things to dry. It forces me to take that time and think about things and assess my direction.

I was going to ask your opinions about doing a little cutting and folding of the background pieces…

but I liked it so much that I went ahead and cut it! There were two small slices that I cut out that I  thought might look good attached to the background in the other direction. With nothing done to them, though, they were nearly invisible.

And now we come to the paint drying part….I added some darker green paint to those pieces with another stencil and I’m pretty sure that will work out fine.

When I was making the last two flowers, I added some glitzy threads before I stitched them down.

After stitching, they don’t show too much, but every little bit of shine does add to the total picture.

I have a plan for finishing but it entails finding a used painter’s drop cloth. If I don’t come up with that, I’ll have to make one myself, and that means there will be more watching paint dry!

This project has taken a turn away from my original idea, but I’m still very happy with how it’s going. I’m having a great time creating this one and I have more skinny scrap ideas churning around my brain, waiting to be born.

Having sooooo much fun!

Planning time

After my QU class, I decided that I am totally in love with the navy fabric that I dyed and that I MUST create something using it. However, this is a time when I am not at my studio and don’t have any of the fabric to play with. So it’s all a mental game for planning.

I do have some pictures of what my first idea would use. The navy fabric, of course and then this.

Blocks that I have made from mostly turquoise scraps and then not done anything further with. I have enough fabric and scraps that coordinate with this to make probably 3 full quilts, paired with that navy.

However, I want to start with these blocks and cut some silhouetted shapes of leaves or flowers out of them and place them on the navy background. Or perhaps the reverse–the navy placed on the scrap blocks. Probably some of each.

I really don’t want to make full size quilts anymore, but I can’t see any other way to use up all the fabric that I have. Using this planning time to develop ideas for reducing my stash could be the best outcome.

And I DO have these lovely blocks to play with also…

Hmmm–since this stash is obviously weighing me down, my next priority is to use, use, use it!

Quiltmaking, back to the basics, here I come!

First time for me…

It’s nice to know that there are still ‘fiber firsts’ in my life, after all my years of playing with textiles. Until today, I had never made a book cover!

As usual, I tripped over some fabric and that triggered the idea. I’ve saved cut-offs from quilts that have been trimmed up, knowing that someday I would use them for something! Today was the day.

Started out like this, overlapping some pieces and butting together others.

It changed a tiny bit in the construction, but this was the general configuration. I thought that I would embellish it like crazy, but changed my mind. This will end up as a gift and I’m not sure the recipient would like that as much as I would. For this first one, I’ll stick with colorful and plain!

This was so fun and easy that I want to make more! Wish I had a book collection to cover up. Oh, goodness…maybe I’ll make an art journal…another thing that I never, ever thought I’d make. Hmmmm….it could happen!

Ahead of myself…

I published two posts on the same day, and it’s not because I’m doing so much or have that much to show you. It’s just that I didn’t pay attention to the dates on the scheduler. I knew I’d miss a day or two while I painted the bathroom and did some yard work, so I thought I’d be smart and space things out…does not work if you don’t pay attention to details!

Last night I could not stand it any more! I haven’t done any sewing or quilting to speak of for quite a while, so I headed down to the studio to do something–anything–with thread and needle or machine! I’ve been making things with the same pile of scraps for so long that I couldn’t face them anymore, but I had a small piece all set to be quilted, so that’s what I did!

I felt like I was learning how to quilt all over again, so I stuck with what was easiest. All over spirals and spiral squares make me feel very comfortable. I can almost do them in my sleep.

I used a new variegated thread, since there was already every color under the sun in the top, and my favorite lime green in the bobbin. Of course my hubby always likes the back of a quilt when you can see the quilting very clearly!

So simple and yet so satisfying when you are hungry for a bit of sewing! I’m not sure, yet, but I may hang onto this one unfinished. There is a possibility that it could grow into something larger, since I have that huge pile of scraps that I would like to use up. The sad truth is that the scrap piles continue to grow and I’m just trying to fool myself into believing that I will ever in my lifetime use them all up!!! I guess the fun is in the trying, though, isn’t it?

I’m a victim!

Yes, indeed, I’m a victim of my own fabric addiction. I’ve been trying to use up my stash for quite a while now, but it really doesn’t seem any smaller. Today, much to my surprise, I fell victim to fabric lust and bought a bunch of fabric.

I take full responsibility for not being stronger, for not resisting. It was a darling little shop, out in the country–truly out in the middle of nowhere! But one of my Kokomo hostesses is the owner, and it was on our way home…need I say more?

I always say that every shop carries different fabrics, so we have to stop and see them all whenever we can. And I also need a full palette of fabrics and colors from which to work. Good reasons to get fabric, I think! Granted, almost everything in that shop could probably be found in one of my local shops, but I love the grunge line of fabrics and this place had more of them than I have ever seen in one place. I exercised great restraint in NOT buying some of every color, but I sure wanted to!

Here’s my little pile of goodies, with only 7 of the grunge colors! And there is a website, if I find I need something that I can’t find here! It’s The Scarlet Thread and the owner is the gracious Julie Boldry. Thanks for a fun visit, both at your shop and in Kokomo!

Guess what! The hotel had very interesting carpet, too. And you know that I love those carpet designs…

These need to be stamps, I think. And the curvy edge design…I really like it.

The ladies of the Kokomo Piecemaker’s Guild were delightful and the workshop was so much fun. However, I didn’t get one single picture. I’m not used to having my phone be my camera and quite frankly, I forgot to take any photos. I’m sorry because your designs were great!

But the best thing is that I’m home again! Always the nicest part of any trip!

Sew Day

Saturday was a sewing bee to use up the stash of our friend Kathy Sheldon, making quilts for charity. She would have had so much fun with us, so we enjoyed ourselves as much as possible using her fabric!

There were a number of people sewing, some cutting, some pressing and people came and went so I’m not sure of any totals.

Sue Gilmore, Kathy’s sister, got things set up and rolling.

We acted goofy when Jim tried to take a group picture!

Sue and Kathy’s relatives came in from the west side of the state, too!

Everything was done quilt as you go, with a table in front to show us how to do several strip piecing options.

As a block was finished, we rang the bell and counted the blocks. We finished enough blocks for two quilts and got started on a third!

And of course we had food!

My job became the ‘assembler’ since I know a very easy way to put those blocks together, thanks to Mari at The Quilting Edge. Here’s a link to the tutorial http://www.thequiltingedge.com/p/tutorials.html

Sue hopes to organize another sew day soon, but my calendar is pretty full and I’m not sure I’d make it. However, I’ll fill the gap by taking care of the ‘homework’–pretty appropriate since Kathy was a teacher!

You know how I just said the other day that I’m tired of working with scraps? Somehow it’s different and okay to be working with someone else’s scraps and making quilts for charity!